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The 21st Century Parent
John was a 43 year-old sales manager at a large company. He’s married and has 3 children, ages 7, 9, and 12. His wife works part-time as a nursing assistant, and they both do as much as they can to parent their children well.
John has developed serious doubts about his ability to be an effective parent in the last couple of years. All of his kids are involved in after school activities, and his demands at work are greater than they’ve ever been. His lack of time with his kids bothers him a great deal, but he doesn’t dare take more time off from work. He’s also bothered by his inability to get his kids to listen to him, and he’s resorted to yelling and threats as measures of discipline.
John’s family seems rushed all the time, and the routines in the morning and at bedtime are almost always chaotic. He often doesn’t have the energy when he gets home from work to spend quality time with his kids, and he feels his relationships with them are growing more distant. In particular, he’s struggling with his teenage daughter’s behavior. John feels he has little in common with her at this stage in their lives.
Welcome to the life of an American parent in the 21st century.
There are many reasons that parenting today is more difficult than in years past. Here are a few of them:
Alvin Toffler once said, “Parenthood remains the greatest single preserve of the amateur.” For too long, parents have taken on the most important job they’ll ever have with little or no training. Parents can’t afford to be amateurs anymore. They must arm themselves with the knowledge, support, and discipline needed to parent their kids effectively. They must take responsibility for the impact their parenting will have on their children. And they must recognize that in today’s culture, their kids need them to be there more than ever.
In John’s case, hiring a coach helped him to:
Though parenthood can be extremely difficult and challenging at times, it can also be incredibly fulfilling and enjoyable. Most of us would never think of starting a new career without the information and training necessary to be effective. Do we think our job as a parent is less important? Effective parenting skills can be learned by anyone who cares enough to commit to them, and by anyone who knows the importance of their parenting to the future of their kids.
It’s time for parents to get some help. It’s the best investment they’ll ever make.
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